Most Party Plastics Cannot be Recycled
Did you know most party plastics cannot be recycled? It’s true. Many items end up in the landfill. It is important to reduce and eliminate your reliance on single-use party plastics. It starts with simple changes to create lasting impacts.
At almost every party or event, food and drinks are served with single-use plastics such as disposable forks, knives, plates and cups. Most people get these products to save themselves from the hassle of having to do dishes. Also, many folks believe that these pesky party plastics can be recycled, when in fact, they must be trashed.
Plastics never truly go away:
It is only until recently that the world captured the impacts of single-use plastics on our planet. Of all the plastics ever produced, only 9% has ever been recycled, with the majority of plastics going back into our environment or into the landfill. In addition, 50% of the plastic produced is now being used to make single-use plastics. The big problem with plastics is that they never really goes away. Rather, plastics break into smaller and smaller pieces, becoming food for wildlife and marine life. Here in Colorado, if you take a walk on the Poudre Trail, notice how much plastic is in the water, along the banks, in the grasses.
Where will all this plastic finally end up?
Reduce your use and reliance on plastics; here’s how:
You have the power to reduce plastic use where it starts by saying no thanks and doing things differently! Here are some simple actions you can take to minimize the party plastics in your life!
- Make your own green grab bag and take it!
- Ask if you can use durable dishes (if you do the dishes, be impeccable with your word and make sure to do them)
- Only eat/order finger foods
- Use a napkins instead of a plate
- Always keep a fork and spoon in your purse or backpack
- Ask your guests to bring their own durable plates, cups, etc. (This really works! The more people do this, the more common it will become and less waste created)
Now to better understand why these pesky, all-to-common plastics cannot be recycled:
Markets: In order to be recycled, a buyer needs to purchase the product and make it into something new. Only a few of the most common household plastics (bottles, jugs, tubs and jars) have someone ready to buy them!
Size: The conveyor system that sorts out recyclable materials at the recovery facility have small gaps in them. Small products (like forks, straws, etc.) fall through these cracks where they end up as residual material (aka trash).
Shape: When plastics are sorted at the MRF, an optical sorter is used. This optical sorter identifies the plastic containers by shape and material type (only bottles, jugs, tubs and jars)
Start small and see where you can eliminate plastics:
There you have it. Plastics are everywhere making them difficult to eliminate from life. However, the best plastic for the environment is the plastic that was never created! Keep reusing and going waste-free wherever you can. Count your wins! It is not always easy, but each time you do it, you are helping the planet!
Have an green idea on how to eliminate single-use plastic in your life, or ways to eliminate party plastics in-favor of more sustainable options? Let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.